Today, I had an interesting morning session, attending my alma mater’s alumni association general body meeting. I graduated more than two decades ago from Sri Venkateswara College of Engineering (SVCE, Sriperumbudur), Electronics and Communications (ECE) department.
The keynote was delivered by Sri A.C.Muthiah, Chairman of SPIC and Sri Venkateswara College of Engineering (SVCE), Sriperumbudur, who recalled the early days of how the college management was handed over to him by His Holiness Kanchi Mutt’s Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal, and, the importance of Alumni for any educational institution.
Sri A.C.M. expressed his dream of seeing an industry innovation centre in the backyard of SVCE, just like Silicon Valley in the neighbourhood of Stanford University. He also announced the start of an annual award for a PROMINENT ALUMNI of the college.
Next was a talk by Mr Murari Sridharan, CTO at BankBazaar.com who recalled the path he navigated in his career with multiple resets and changing tracks.
After his schooling, having not making into BITS Pilani, he did a reset and came to Chennai and joined SVCE. After graduating from SVCE, at the last minute changed the group preference in the application form to Electrical Engineering at the Washington State University, Seattle. After joining WSU, he did another reset due to circumstances, moved to IOWA State University to complete a PhD in Computer Engineering, doing a thesis on Mesh Networks. After his doctorate, he found it difficult to land a job in Networks Area, due to dotcom crash. He did a reset and switched track to software engineering, joined Microsoft and worked there for many years leading the team that was responsible for Cortana and Search Products on Windows Mobile. He shared that his biggest challenge in delivering products while at large firms was not technology, but getting the different teams on the same page and coordinating the efforts.
Having lived in the USA for nearly two decades, he did another reset, landed a job as CTO at BankBazaar.com, Chennai and moved with family to India.
Following Mr Murari, it was Mr Karthik Ganesan, Head- Sales & Marketing, Electric vehicles at Ashok Leyland talked about the transition from combustion engines to electric vehicles (EV). He says EV to be an interim solution, as storing chemical energy and then converting back is expensive, compared to generating power onboard, like with Fuel cells. He quoted a thumb rule: With one unit of Electricity, a two-wheeler runs 4 Kilometres; whereas a passenger bus runs 1 Kilometre with the same one unit.